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  1. If you missed the recent announcement, USDA will soon launch a Higher Blends Infrastructure Incentive Program (HBIIP) that will have a total of $100M of funding - $86M for ethanol; $14M for biodiesel. You can read more about the announcement here: https://ethanolrfa.org/2020/02/rfa-thanks-usda-for-renewable-fuels-infrastructure-grant-program-fleet-directive/ USDA also announced the plan to utilize more E15 and E85 in their fleet, which could equate to 9 million more gallons of E15 and 10 million more gallons of E85. If you know of retailers interested in the program, please send them our way. We are getting several ready for the application process expected this spring. Robert; RFA
  2. All: Starting now, you will begin to see changes at E85prices.com. The switch will likely take a couple of hours, perhaps more. The website visually doesn't have that drastic of a change, but behind the scenes, much has changed for the better. We ask that you give the new website a tour, and help us make sure that everything works as desired. If you see an issue or have an idea, please post here and we will be making tweaks and fixing issues all weekend until done. Once we have this project completed, a new mobile app will debut. Robert RFA
  3. The USDA just announced $100M for blender pumps. Here is the main text from the announcement: As part of that commitment, USDA is investing up to $100 million in clean energy infrastructure that will make more options available to American consumers. Through the Biofuels Infrastructure Partnership, USDA funds, administered through competitive grants and matched at least one-to-one by funds from States, will test innovative ways to distribute higher blends of renewable fuel. States that offer a greater than one-to-one ratio in funding will receive higher consideration for grant funds. A typical gas pump can deliver fuel that contains a maximum 10% ethanol, which limits the amount of renewable energy most consumers can purchase at the pump, despite the fact that our farmers now produce record amounts of renewable biofuels. At this point, I don't know if retailers will be able to directly apply or how the match from states will work. The information is not yet available. The announcement comes on the heels of the EPA failing to enforce the statutory levels of the RFS and citing the blend wall as the reason. Also in response to the RVO levels, RINs are dropping like a rock, which will affect E85 prices negatively quickly. I will share more once I have more to share. Robert
  4. In case you missed the good news this morning, Kum & Go will begin offering E15 in Iowa this week. This was part of a more major announcement, which included 65 total new E15 stations in 7 states. Three of those states will be new for E15. http://www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/kum-go-to-introduce-e15-in-seven-states/ Keep in mind, if these stations do not already offer E85, they will. Until E15 is offered by fuel terminals, the most efficient way to offer E15 is by diluting E85 at the station with E10. Robert
  5. Crowd Participation Needed E85Prices.com gives individuals a way to make a difference and further the use of higher-level ethanol blends, writes Bob Dinneen. That websites, and others, provide consumers and government with information about ethanol blends. By Bob Dinneen | April 14, 2015 Vince Lombardi famously said, “The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual.” In the same way the success of E85Prices.com—RFA’s newest website—hinges on the participation of individuals all across the country. E85Prices.com is a crowdsourced website providing updated and timely information on the price of higher-level fuel blends at more than 3,450 stations throughout the country. The site is unique in that it offers a price breakdown at stations selling E85 and E15. A driver can easily find the price of E85 and E10 at any reported station, as well as the prices of E15 and other midlevel ethanol blends. On a broader level, one can identify the average price spread and lowest E85 price by state and track month-by-month trends on all blends ranging from E0 to E85. The site has been the premier tool for drivers to access the most up-to-date information on the cost and availability of E85 and received more than 4 million hits last year alone. As a crowdsourcing site, E85Prices.com is only as good as the information it receives, which is why RFA also offers the mobile app for E85Prices.com. The mobile app makes it easy for individuals who stop to fill up at a station or simply pass by a station to log the information into the app on their phone. In addition to E85Prices.com and the adjoining mobile app, RFA also manages E85Vehicles.com, which helps individuals identify flex-fuel vehicles, whether they are shopping for a flex-fuel vehicle or simply looking to see if their current vehicle is capable of running on E85. E85Vehicles.com also allows users to connect through its forum, where readers can share stories and information about everything from newly opened E85 stations to basic tips about fueling with higher-level ethanol blends. There are approximately 18 million flex-fuel vehicles on the road today and nearly a quarter of all model year 2015 vehicles coming off the line are capable of using E85. Combine that with the 23 million vehicles manufacturer warranted to use E15 and it seems clear consumer demand for these resources should be quite high. These sites, in conjunction with www.chooseethanol.com, round out RFA’s arsenal of digital tools ensuring consumers have access to all the information necessary to find stations and identify the lowest prices for E15 and E85. This information will prove useful to consumers, but will also provide a valuable resource to the government as well. So far, the government has not lived up to its obligations in keeping track of E85 availability. Last year, we examined the U.S. DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center and found it woefully out of date with about 1,000 stations missing from its database. An accurate accounting of E85 and E15 availability is vitally important today as continued E85 and E15 use will help the United States overcome the so-called “blend wall.” And what driver with a flex-fuel vehicle wouldn’t want to take advantage of E85? For much of last year, a $1 per gallon price difference could be found between E85 and regular unleaded. That adds up to real savings! In early 2015, E85Prices.com found that there were more than 3,450 stations in 2,155 cities selling E85. E85Prices.com helps consumers easily find a station and fill up. Lombardi’s Green Bay Packers had dedicated players who came together to win Super Bowls. In the same way, E85Prices.com gives dedicated individuals a way to make a difference and further the use of higher-level ethanol blends. Author: Bob Dinneen President and CEO, Renewable Fuels Association 202-289-3835
  6. All: Thought I would share my latest blog post. While it does discuss E15 a great deal, remember that at least for now, E85 comes with E15 at each station. Robert By Robert White, RFA's Vice President of Industry Relations — RFA talks with thousands of fuel retailers at petroleum marketer meetings, conferences, webinars, and one-on-one meetings. Over the course of these meetings it quickly becomes clear that every decision made by fuel retailers is based on return on investment (ROI) and the outcome of every decision is compounded exponentially for the 60% that are single station owners. Today, nearly all of these stations offer premium fuel, but should they? Until this year, the business case for E15 hinged on what vehicles the EPA had approved: 2001 & newer light duty cars, trucks and SUVs. These vehicles tally over 203 million, or 83% of the U.S. fleet. That is more than enough to justify the infrastructure to support them. But that has not happened and we must ask why not. The reason most often given is that while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has approved the use of E15 in these vehicles, the auto manufacturers have not. So what do the facts say? RFA recently found that 70% of MY15 vehicles are explicitly warranted for E15 — a trend that has been moving upward since MY12. So, just how many vehicles are now explicitly warranted for E15? More than 41 million! Add to that the 18 million FFVs that are also approved for E15, and there are 59 million E15 warranted cars on the road today. For comparison, there are just 15 million cars requiring premium gas today. But, no high performance automobile owner has trouble finding premium fuel! Here is the breakdown: ~244,000,000 light duty vehicles on the road today ~15,000,000 require premium fuel ~203,000,000 are 2001 & newer and approved by EPA to use E15 ~41,000,000 are explicitly warranted for E15 ~18,000,000 are FFVs (also warranted for E15) ~41,000,000 vehicles are 2000 & older The fact that there are four times as many vehicles fully warranted for the use of E15 than those requiring premium gas today should be a compelling consideration for retailers considering the switch to E15 and E85. Many retailers are shocked to find that they are dedicating an entire fuel tank to premium fuel, which allows them to service fewer vehicles than if they sold E15 and E85. If retailers would consider converting their premium tank to E85 and installing a blender pump to allow for E15, they would gain both segments from one existing underground storage tank. The potential consumer fleet would jump from just 15 million vehicles to 59 million vehicles. Moreover, premium sales have been dropping. Most retailers will concede that premium sales are between 1–4% of their total volume, while stations making the conversion to E85 — and adding E15 — have demonstrated that they can turn that 1–4% into 20–30%. The business case for higher blends of ethanol is actually quite simple. If retailers want to differentiate themselves, lower their consumer price at the pump, increase their overall fuel volumes, boost their in store sales, and ultimately increase their profits … premium might not be the wisest fuel choice. Success will come in the form of higher-level ethanol blends. - See more at: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/exchange/entry/should-premium-fuel-still-warrant-a-tank/#sthash.XOCpltxY.dpuf
  7. The RFA needs your help to promote and update... By Holly Jessen | March 23, 2015 A while ago, I stumbled on a cool website. E85prices.com uses crowd sourced information to give consumers information about retail locations that sell E85 and at what price. As it turns out, I wasn’t the only one with my eye on it. At the end of February, the Renewable Fuels Association announced it acquired that website and another one, E85vehicles.com. In the time since then, the RFA has already made some improvements. Robert White, vice president of industry relations for RFA, told me the first order of business was updating the information at both websites. Since the purchase, RFA has added more than 30 new E85 to the database and work is ongoing add other missing stations. As of today, the website lists 3,455 total U.S. E85 stations in 2,154 cities as well as 291 blender pumps mid- and high-level blends. RFA is also working to add 2015 FFVs to E85vehicles.com. “As for future improvements, we plan to refine the websites and mobile app to be as user-friendly as possible to encourage more people to utilize both,” he said. “All of the important information will remain, but we will streamline and make navigation easier. More announcements will come in the future.” E85vehicles.com offers consumers a way to find out what options they have if they want to purchase a new or used flex-fuel vehicle. It also helps drivers identify if they already own an FFV. Finally, it includes an online forum that’s quite popular already and RFA hopes to introduce to even more people. “It has nearly 2,000 registered users talking about all things ethanol,” White said. “There are racing discussions, conversions, state laws and regs, new station development, FFVs and more. We encourage all interested parties to participate and grow the numbers participating and information shared.” White told me RFA purchased E85prices.com and E85vehicles.com because they were well populated with information. “E85prices.com became a very popular website because there was really nothing else like it available to consumers,” he said, adding that, “E85 supporters tend to be quite enthusiastic about finding and promoting the best E85 prices in their areas.” Last summer, RFA used the data at E85prices.com to point out to the U.S. DOE that their E85 stations database was lacking. At that time the DOE’s Alternative Fuels Data Center database listed nearly 1,000 less E85 stations than the 3,349 E85 stations listed at E85prices.com. “RFA highlighted that not only would this hinder consumers and fleets from finding E85, it is also the data that is used by EPA for setting the annual RVO for the RFS,” he said. “If you miss 30 percent of the stations, numbers can change dramatically, and not to the benefit of the ethanol industry.” However, despite the fact that E85prices.com has the best list of E85 stations available, there is more work to be done. Currently, no E85 prices are reported in more than half of states. While some of those states may have very few or even no E85 stations (Maine is one example), there are more that do have E85 stations that are simply not being reported at E85prices.com. RFA believes this is because consumers in some states simply don’t know about the website, White told me. The organization plans to work to promote the website and ask others, such as RFA members, retail gas stations and partners like the national and state corn growers and American lung association groups, Clean Cities coalitions and others to promote it as well. The goal is to update the data before bringing it to the attention of the DOE again. “We plan to again breakdown the two databases station-by-station and again provide that list to DOE,” he said. “RFA believes it is important, and if it is a matter of resources, DOE should allocate more to this effort.” Here’s another couple of interesting tidbits. Ten other websites were purchased by RFA at the same time. These were websites with domain names that the RFA will use as auto forwards to existing RFA websites. An example of this is a website named blenderpumps.com that now takes people to BYOethanol.com, a website about ethanol blending and blender pumps. Secondly, E85prices.com isn’t limited to listing E85 prices. Prices for E15 and other ethanol blends, such as E20 and E30, can also be recorded at the website. Personally, I plan to register and make sure the information provided about stations in the town I live in is correct and I hope you will too. I think that, plus reporting prices, is a small thing we as individuals can do to help the ethanol industry that could have a potentially big impact. White agreed, telling me that, “the data being reported, both pricing experiences and station updates, is important for the success of the ethanol industry. We will be using the data to help with the RFS debate with policymakers and everyday consumers,” he said. “The more data that is collected, the better the data will be for all of us.” If you are interested, go to E85prices.com and click on the second tab over from the left, Submit E85 Prices. It’s below the red bar that lists the total number of stations and cities E85 and other ethanol blends are sold in.
  8. Ethanol is always catching flack for "subsidies". Most don't realize the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit (VEETC) expired in 2011, along with the import tariff and for the most part, the infrastructure tax credit. Some claim the RFS is a subsidy, which is borderline comical. I thought I would share EIA's report from today on energy subsidies. You can see that fossil fuels still dominate all renewables, and ironically this week is also the 113th anniversary of oil subsidies. http://1.usa.gov/1AuIXoq Robert
  9. Protec Fuel Management just announced the following two new stations offering both E15 and E85 in Georgia. Both are operational. Mountain Express - Quick Stop Food Store 855 S Cobb Dr. Marietta, GA Mountain Express - Food Mart 405 S. Walnut St. Greensboro, GA
  10. Here is my second part of new E85 stations that I did not find in the database. All of these stations are also offering E15 to 2001 and newer vehicles: PetroServe, 309 6th Street SE, Mandan, ND 58554 PetroServe, 205 NP Avenue, Fargo, ND 58103 Cenex, 9245 Hwy 1, Langdon, ND 58249 Uncle Neal's/Phillips 66, 2700 Plum Creek Pkwy, Lexington, NE 68850 Navarre Minnoco, 3360 Shoreline Dr., Navarre, MN 55391
  11. Here are some new stations across the country that now offer E15 and E85 that were not listed in the existing stations. There are several hundred more in the works. This is not a complete list, but all I am going to get to this week. Have a great weekend. Robert Mapco 380 Warfield Boulevard Clarksville, TN 931-551-8701 Latitude: 36.569476472986 Longitude: -87.287278175354 Mapco 404 South Broadway Portland, TN 615-325-3940 Latitude: 36.576201517376 Longitude: -86.513822972775 Valero 401 South 4th Street Mapleton, IA 712-882-1012 Latitude: 42.161888440999235 Longitude: -95.79352587461472 Star Energy 903 32nd Avenue Spencer, IA 888-437-3835 Latitude: 43.1473836649635 Longitude: -95.19230872392654 K&H Cooperative 101 First Street NE Buffalo Center, IA 641-562-2029 Latitude: 43.3859709739495 Longitude: -93.94780799746513 Cenex (Chandler Coop) 320 Trosky Road Edgerton, MN 507-442-4971 Latitude: 43.87794513707548 Longitude: -96.13426968455315 Minnoco 1214 Southview Boulevard South Saint Paul, MN 651-450-2263 Latitude: 44.8891716797265 Longitude: -93.04977223277092 Holiday 16825 County Road 24 Plymouth, MN 763-551-3914 Latitude: 45.019640106096 Longitude: -93.494381904602 (interesting... almost directly west of the Meijer in Gaylord, halfway between the equator and the north pole) Minnoco 9950 County Road 9 Plymouth, MN (having some trouble with this one... is it a former Holiday, or the location listed as "VIP Car Wash"?) Red Lake County Coop 106 Highway 59 South Brooks, MN 218-698-4271 Latitude: 47.813058451517 Longitude: -95.999028682709 Minnoco 12908 Minnetonka Boulevard Minnetonka, MN 952-933-7788 Latitude: 44.941883438960 Longitude: -93.443570137024 Minnoco 2178 Marshall Avenue Saint Paul, MN 651-644-3436 Latitude: 44.948201402406 Longitude: -93.192193508148 Minnoco 3360 Shoreline Drive Orono, MN 952-471-9082 Latitude: 44.934922446976934 Longitude: -93.60875934362411 (pics thanks to user insiderperson on GasBuddy)
  12. Major Gasoline Retailer Sheetz Expands E15 in the Mid-Atlantic WASHINGTON — Today, Sheetz — a major retail gas station chain in the Mid-Atlantic — announced that 60 of its locations in North Carolina will offer E15 by the spring of 2016. This announcement comes on the heels of E15’s expansion into 15 states. More states are expected to join the list as the higher-level fuel blend continues to grow and offer consumers additional fuel choice. Bob Dinneen, president and CEO of the Renewable Fuels Association, commended Sheetz on its E15 commitment, noting, “Sheetz’s decision to offer E15 at 60 of their locations is like a warm cup of cocoa on a cold January morning. It’s invigorating to see a major North Carolina retailer like Sheetz actively decide to do what is best for their consumers by giving drivers access to additional fuel options. Sheetz clearly sees the benefits of E15 and it is my hope that all other retailers in North Carolina will follow Sheetz’s exemplary example.” E15 is approved by the Environmental Protection Agency for use in vehicles 2001 and newer as well as all flex-fuel vehicles. It has also been given the green light by approximately 70 percent of automakers for use in their new MY 2015 vehicles and flex-fuel vehicles. Originally debuting on the market in 2012, E15 has been driven more than 100 million miles by consumers with no reported engine damage or misfueling. -See more at: http://www.ethanolrfa.org/news/entry/major-gasoline-retailer-sheetz-expands-e15-in-the-mid-atlantic/
  13. Freeport General Store in Freeport Michigan was an original YellowHose.com station since the campaign began in October of 2013. Yesterday the station completed installation of 2 new Gilbarco- 3 Hose FlexFuel pumps. Carbon Green BioEnergy, LLC and Growth Energy are currently working with the owner to properly register the YellowHose site to become the first registered E15 station in Michigan. The goal is to become fully registered and legal to sell E15 to all 2001 and newer vehicles. The station now offers E15, E30 & E85 for FlexFuel vehicles only. YellowHose.com includes a map of 34 retail locations currently offering E85 at "$1 Less Per Gallon". Mitch Miller Carbon Green Bioenergy, LLC @ZL1DER on twitter
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